Posted On: 01/26/18 2:09 PM
One of the best scorers in Indiana is someone you have never heard of. Whitko is struggling a bit this year sitting at 6-11 but senior shooting guard River West is just doing what he always has: score. The 6’2 guard may not be the quickest but he certainly doesn’t need to be in order to get his shot off.
West has always been a scorer as he can get his shot off at any time. West scored his 1000th point earlier this season in a game against Rochester where he scored 35 points on 11-of-17 from the floor. To have over 1000 points in just 63 career games is really impressive and he has no less than 8 games left.
West is a good passer and along with his 20.1 points a game he is also pulling down 7.2 rebounds a contest as well. He has really improved his strength coming into the season and we see that when he attacks the boards. West is a good academic kid as well as he is able to get into almost any school he would like.
Whitko probably won’t eclipse their 14 wins from last year, but that is due in part to playing a much tougher schedule this year. They are a 2A program and they have 14 3A or 4A schools on their schedule whereas last year, it was just 10. Most of those schools last year were 3A and playing more 4A schools this year will prepare them better for the postseason.
“Playing in that Huntington North/Columbia City Tournament gave us four losses to really good teams that we never had the chance of getting in years past but I think it is going to help us out in the long run. We have gone 2-1 since that tourney and I expect us to really strive in the second half of the season,” said West.
Whitko does have a really good chance to do some special things after the turn of the calendar and West is a big part of that. He has really improved over the last year and that is not only showing up in the box score but with his intangibles as well.
“My whole career I have been known as just a shooter and this year I have been trying to prove people wrong,” said West. “Over the summer and fall I worked on ball handling and posting up. This year I am way more comfortable creating off the bounce and actually a good chunk of my points come from that now. When my jump-shot isn’t going down or a team is taking away my outside game I will go to the post to get an easy bucket and to give myself confidence on my shot.”
If you watch film on West you can see that he really has improved those aspects of his game as he can body up smaller guards and score over them. He is able to take the ball coast to coast and finish, something that he wasn’t able to do last year that well. Adding more strength and speed with only make him more of a threat.
West’s recruiting has been coming along really slowly as he hasn’t made any visits and only Oxford College of Emory University (GA) has been showing interest. West would fit really well at any D3 school in the area with his ability to score and NAIA’s could take a flier and mold him into someone that could really contribute down the road. West’s ability to not only shoot but score the ball will make him a really valuable asset to whomever grabs him.
“I’m just looking for a school that wants to take a chance on me so I can fulfill my potential both on the court and in the classroom.”